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The US Air Force just gave a sneak peak of its plans for the next generation of fighter jets

The Air Force's next generation of fighter jet. (Screen Shot/YouTube)
  • US Air Force Research Laboratory recently released a video showing a conceptual design of a sixth-generation fighter jet.
  • The video, which shows other futuristic technology, was released to plug AFRL’s “Science & Technology 2030” initiative.
  • The video shows the conceptual sixth-generation fighter, known as the F/X, firing a high-energy laser that cuts another fighter jet in half.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory recently released a video showing what its conceptual sixth-generation fighter jet might be like.

The Air Force released the video to plug its “Science & Technology 2030” initiative,” which Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson launched in September 2017.

The video shows a conceptual sixth-generation fighter jet, known as the F/X, firing what appears to be a high-energy laser that cuts another fighter in half.

Since at least 2015, the Air Force has been talking about mounting lasers on planes and jets, such as AC-130s, and F-15s and F-16s. Lockheed Martin was recently awarded a $26.5 million contractto develop lasers for fighter jets.

It’s still unclear what capabilities a sixth-generation fighter will hold, but it’s speculated that they will have longer range, larger payloads, and be able to switch between a manned and an unmanned aircraft.

They might also be able to travel at hypersonic speeds, carry hypersonic weapons, and more.

The Air Force hasn’t selected a developer for the F/X, also known as Next-Generation Air Dominance or Penetrating Counter Air, but hopes to put it into service around 2030, Defense News reported, quoting Brig. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich.

The AFRL program will host events at universities across the US this spring and summer to “listen and learn from the scientific community, higher education and business professionals through a series of conversations and outreach events,” its website reads.

“In order to defend America, we need your help to innovate smarter and faster,” according to AFRL’s website. “Our warfighters depend on us to keep the fight unfair and we will deliver.”

In addition to the F/X, the AFRL video features the Air Force’s “Loyal Wingman” initiative, in which a manned fighter jet can command and control a swarm of attack and surveillance drones.

It also showcases DARPA’s “Gremlin” program, and the Air Force’s Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, a conceptual kind of missile that can cause electronic blackouts.

Watch the video below: